Author Archives: beccaspt

About beccaspt

Content creator for SERVPRO of Tustin, a leader in the emergency service and restoration industry.

What to do After the Wildfire

As residents of Aneheim Hills, Orange, and the Tustin areas start to make their way back home following Canyon Fire 2, it would be wise to take the time to read over this list of tips for what do after a wildfire. As always, SERVPRO of Tustin is #HereToHelp. Our owners are long time Tustin residents, and most of our staff lives either in or near the affected areas. We are happy that we are able to offer a lending hand to our neighbors during this trying time. If you have any further questions or concerns, our staff is ready to help – give us a call at 714-480-1340

 

After Wildfire Tips

• Do not open your windows or doors once work is started as there is still smoke in the air. Many think that “airing” out their home is helpful, however, there is still soot and fire debris in the air and if winds change direction your house can fill with smoke particles again.

• Do not open your windows or doors once work is started as there is still smoke in the air. Many think that “airing” out their home is helpful, however, there is still soot and fire debris in the air and if winds change direction your house can fill with smoke particles again.

• A slight smell after our cleaning of your home is normal and should dissipate after rain and other natural occurring factors like new plant growth on the burned areas. Ash and soot on the ground and vegetation in the vicinity will continue to generate smoke odors and airborne particles when disturbed by air movement.

• It is important to know that every time you open a door some odor from outside will creep into your home. This is inevitable and does not mean that your needs to be re-cleaned.

• It is against most city and state laws to power wash outdoors and without reclaiming the water. If you hire a contractor to power wash the exterior of your home be sure they comply with city and state laws. It is also suggested to wait until after the first good amount of rain. This will help reduce debris still in the air and it will wash off any settled particles from your roof which could re-soil the sides of your house when it does rain.

Additional Tips from FEMA and the American Red Cross

• Launder or dry clean all clothing. Call us if you would like a recommendation to a dry cleaner who specializes in fire damaged clothing

• Launder or dry clean all clothing. Call us if you would like a recommendation to a dry cleaner who specializes in fire damaged clothing

• Wash, dust or otherwise clean all household items, including knick-knacks. Use a bucket to rinse, a bucket with cleaning solution and then rinse. Replace the rinse water frequently and avoid using contaminated water.

• HEPA Vacuum or clean all carpets, window coverings, upholstered furniture and mattresses.

• Upholstery, fabric window treatments, etc. can be spray-treated with deodorizing products available at most supermarkets. Do not use odor masking products

• Have heating, ventilating and air-conditioning units and all ductwork professionally purge or cleaned to remove soot, ash and smoke residue. Change filters to HEPA filters immediately and then consider replacing them every month until the soot and ash outside has subsided by rain or vegetation regrowth.

• If aerial fire retardant or firefighting foam residue is present on the house and/or automobiles, use a mild detergent and brushes to scrub and dilute the dried residue and flush it from the surfaces; rinse with clean water. A follow-up with pressure washing may be beneficial but will not replace scrubbing to remove the residue. Again, be aware of water run-off laws in your area

• Ash and soot on the ground and vegetation in the vicinity will continue to generate smoke odors and airborne particles when disturbed by air movement.

 

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fire prevention week

It’s Fire Prevention Week! This year the National Fire Protection Association is reiterating the importance of planning at least two ways out when creating your fire escape plan.

About only half of Americans have developed a home fire escape plan – a quarter of those have never even practiced it. Planning (and practicing!) an escape route from your home can be the difference between life and death if there is ever a fire in your home. A regularly practiced fire escape plan can ensure that everyone in the home knows what to do and where to go when there’s a fire.

Home fires can spread very quickly, and that is why it is so important to plan at least two ways out of every room. If the fire spreads and blocks your first path out, you need to be able to react quickly and move on to plan B.

Your home fire escape plan should include working smoke alarms on every level of the home, as well as in every bedroom. There should be two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window. The escape plan should also include a clear path to an outdoor meeting place (like a tree or mailbox) that is a safe distance from the home. Once you’ve created your home escape plan, be sure to practice it at least twice a year with all members of the household, including pets!

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Filed under Emergency tips, Fire Damage Restoration, fire safety, Owners, Property Managers, Tustin Community, Uncategorized

College Campus: Dorm Safety Tips

Dorm Safety Tips

For many college students, living in a dorm during their freshman year of college is the first time they’ve lived away from home and, subsequently, without the supervision of their parents/guardians. Before heading off for their first year of dorm living, new college students should read over this list of safety tips and take a few minutes to make sure that they are living in a fire-safe environment. It’s probably beneficial for returning college students to give this list a read through too; whether living in the dorms or off campus, safety tips should not be overlooked.

 

Learn the building’s evacuation plan.

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Pay attention to signs for emergency exits in campus buildings when you’re acquainting yourself with your new home.

If you’re living on campus, chances are your dorm will have an emergency evacuation plan. Once you’re all settled into your new home, take some time to familiarize yourself with the building and learn the evacuation routes. Practice multiple escape routes in the event that your first option is obstructed during an emergency. Most college campus buildings should have an evacuation plan posted on each floor. If you live off campus, have an escape plan of your own with at least two ways out of each room. Knowing what to do before an emergency happens can help you to protect yourself as well as others.

 

Don’t overload your room’s electrical outlets.

Charred Electrical Outlet

Choose surge protectors or power outlet strips with their own circuit breakers that will cut power when overloaded.

Most electrical outlets in dorms are designed to handle a specific amperage. It’s best not to try to push them to their capacity by using too many multi-plug devices. Your school may also have policies restricting the use/plug-in of certain appliances. These limitations are meant to limit the number of potential electrical and fire hazards in your dorm. If you ever notice any scorched marks or burning odors around an electrical outlet, stop using that outlet and inform someone of the problem right away.

 

Cook with care.

Coffee-maker

College students can be pretty creative when it comes to cooking in the dorms. Make sure you’re abiding by school rules and cooking safely!

Be careful when cooking in your dorm or in the dorm’s community kitchen. Cooking equipment is involved in 86 percent of dormitory fires. If you do not have a kitchen in your dorm, then you should follow the school’s guidelines on what sort of plug-in cooking equipment is permitted for use in the dorms. Always be careful with electric frying pans, toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, etc. Never leave your dorm when cooking appliances are in use.

 

Respect open flame policies.

holding candle

Candles are the most common source of open flame in a dorm room.

Most schools don’t allow you to smoke or burn candles or incense in the dorms. If you do smoke, be sure to do so in the designated areas on campus (most likely away from buildings). If your school does not allow smoking on campus, then you should follow that policy. Avoid burning candles or incense in your dorm room. If you burn them for the smell, try using essential oil diffusers to create a pleasant aroma in the dorm. You can also buy battery operated flame-less candles for the same flickering light/ambiance that a candle provides, but without the fire hazard. If you do still choose to burn candles or incense in your dorm, never leave them unattended and keep them away from flammable materials.

 

Don’t tamper with fire safety features in your dorm.

smoke_detector

Check the batteries for you smoke detectors regularly.

Most dorms should have smoke detectors. It is important that you do not cover them with any decorations in your dorm. Additionally, do not remove the batteries in your dorm’s smoke detector. It will send a signal to Public Safety to investigate the source of the problem. It is also important to have fresh batteries in your smoke detector so that it can properly do its job to keep you safe. If your dorm has a sprinkler system in place, don’t hang any decorations on it. Sprinklers are there to help put out a fire before firefighters can get there. They are especially important if your dorm is on an upper level as it can be more difficult for firefighters to get to the flames.

 

Be mindful of clutter and how you decorate your dorm.

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Any decor or clutter in your dorm could be fuel to a potential fire.

While decorating your dorm is how you can display your personality or bring some of home to school with you, it can also become potential fuel for a fire. Every poster or tapestry you hang on the wall, or piece of decor you hang from the ceiling, can be considered a fire hazard. Some schools may limit the amount of wall space that can be covered in your dorm, or may prohibit hanging things from the ceiling. Even if there are no restrictions, it would be wise to limit the amount of decor you hang in your room as well as to keep clutter to a minimum. Additionally, avoid draping materials over hot items like lamps that could potentially cause ignition. Furniture should also be kept away from the room’s heat source to reduce the risk of fire.

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by | August 17, 2017 · 8:00 am

5 Common Causes of Water Damage in Orange County

common causes of water damage

Unlike other parts of the country, rain isn’t the main cause of water damage in homes and other buildings in Orange County. Get to know some of the common causes of water damage so that you can do what you can to prevent it from happening on your property.

  1. Broken Pipes – A broken pipe can do a lot of damage to your home in just a short amount of time. Before you know it, gallons short amount of time. Before you know of water could be spewing through your home. Pay close attention to any leaks, drips, and signs of deterioration. Have a plumber come out to your house for regular maintenance, and if there ever is a broken pipe, you can always turn the water off before the plumber arrives in order to avoid further damage.
  2. Pinhole Leaks – common if a home has copper plumbing, a pinhole leak is a puncture of a copper pipe due to corrosion. If your home has a copper water system, check your pipes for signs of corrosion often.
  3. Old/Faulty Appliances – If you’re fridge or washing machines aren’t maintained well, or have gotten too old, they could start to leak and create a significant amount of water damage in your home. It’s especially important to keep an eye on the appliances in your kitchen, as water damage caused by your fridge or dish washer can affect not just your floor, but your cabinets as well. Often times, leaks that go undetected for some time will cause significant water damage behind cabinets, which in turn can lead to mold if the problem goes unnoticed for an extended period.
  4. Roof Leaks – We don’t typically see much rain here in Southern California, but when we do, a lot of homeowners tend to suffer water damage due to roof leaks. Check your roofs frequently and take care of any maintenance or repairs while the weather is still sunny. That way you won’t have to worry about your home flooding next time a storm hits.
  5. Accidents – Sometimes luck just isn’t on your side and one tiny mistake can lead to a big problem. A clogged toilet or too much soap in the dishwasher or washing machine can have water coming across your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. These parts of the home are generally better equipped than the rest of the house to handle a larger spill, but water moves fast and could potentially cause damage to the walls, ceiling, or other rooms in the home. If an accident ever does occur that you think calls for a professional, call SERVPRO of Tustin and we’ll make it like it never even happened!

(714)480-1340

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Filed under Property Managers, Tustin Community, water damage

7 Awesome Apps You Should Download To Make Your Life Easier

Download these apps

Whether it’s managing multiple properties, or taking care of everyone at home, we could all use a little help sometimes; that’s why we LOVE these apps that were designed to make life just a little bit easier. The best part about all of these apps? They’re all available to download for FREE!

  1. Evernote: Dubbing itself “your second brain,”, Evernote is an app that will collect, organize, and share notes from anywhere. You can collect all of your notes in one place and easily search for them in the app. You can also use Evernote’s various features to enhance your notes with tables, links, checklists, etc. It’s a perfect app for de-cluttering. It’s even available on your computer with a Google login.
  2. Habitica: It’s a task manager that turns your tasks into games! Habitica lets you input your habits, daily goals, and your to-do list. You even get to create a custom avatar! You earn points and “level-up” as you check off tasks and eventually earn in game or custom made rewards (like watching an episode of your favorite show) as you complete more tasks.
  3. Venmo: Don’t have cash? That’s ok! Venmo lets you share money instantly and securely with friends via the app. You can also request money from a friend as a way to remind them about any money they owe you. You can connect your contacts and Facebook account to find friends more easily. All you have to do is connect your bank account so that you can send and receive money. An money you are sent in the app is saved in your Venmo account, and you can cash it out to your regular bank any time (if you have money in your Venmo account, then it will pull from that first when you pay someone).
  4. Square Cash: It’s basically the same as Venmo but a different app. Some people prefer Square Cash to Venmo, so it’s good to have both apps so you can connect with all of your friends.
  5. Keelo: We’re all busy, which means it can be difficult to find time to work out. Keelo creates completely custom workouts that are perfect you (no matter what the skilltype), and they’re all under 20 minutes!
  6. Cozi Family Organizer: This app will let you store everyone’s activities and appointments in one place, create and share shopping lists and chores in real time, store recipes and add ingredients to your shopping list, and more! It’s the perfect app for busy families – keeping everyone on the same page.
  7. SERVPRO Ready Plan: Whether you’re an owner or a property manager (commercial or residential), the SERVPRO Ready Plan app allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your home or business. The ERP helps you to prepare for the worst and compiles a list of all your emergency contacts for your home or business. You can also add your favorite local SERVPRO Franchise (SERVPRO of Tustin) so that you can call us with just the push of a button.

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Filed under Emergency tips, Owners, Property Managers, summer, Tech, Tustin Community

The Summer Heat May Be Affecting Your Home’s Appliances

Appliances in the heat

You know those hot summer days when you can feel the sun sucking away your energy? Well, the same thing can happen to your household appliances during the summer too. When the weather gets hot, there are some preventative measures you can take to protect the systems and appliances in your home.

The higher temperatures outside can create a buildup of moisture on your appliances inside. This extra moisture can cause appliances to degrade faster, and can potentially cause electrical shocks. Appliances can also sweat, causing water to settle around cords and wires. It can also flood the interior of the system, which can potentially lead to mold.

You also must be wary of your appliances overheating. Appliances may have higher surface temperatures, and can lose function when overheated, or require more electricity to work properly. Most appliances use more energy during summer months because they have to work even harder to maintain a cool temperature themselves.

AC Units often have to work harder in the summer because in addition to cooling your home, they also work to remove moisture from the air. Consider installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system, or using one in rooms where it gets hottest. The dehumidifier can remove moisture from the air and allow the Air Conditioner to work solely on cooling your home.

You should also maintain regular cleaning/maintenance of your unit’s filters and coils in order to ensure that it is working properly. The same should go for your fridge/freezer. Dirty coils can lead to overheating, which could leave you without an AC unit or a fridge.

Your fridge should also be kept somewhere cool (avoid hot garages). Once you find the right place for your fridge, be sure to give it ample breathing room. The fridge needs enough room to release heat, but you don’t want that heat to become trapped and cause the unit to overheat and stop working.

You should maintain regular upkeep and maintenance of all of your household appliances all year long, but it’s especially important to be mindful of how they can be affected in this summer heat. Should you require emergency services, call SERVPRO of Tustin 24/7 at 714-480-1340

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No AC? No Problem! 9 Hacks for Staying Cool This Summer

SERVPRO of Tustin

9 hacks for staying cool Blog title

It’s hard getting through these Southern California Summers without any air conditioning. Luckily for us, generations before us had to suffer through the heat before air conditioning was even invented and left us with some tried and true methods for staying cool all summer long!

  1. Turn off electronics when not in use. When electronics are turned on, they are producing heat. If you have electronics that you don’t use very often plugged in or turned on, keep them unplugged and/or turned off to keep them producing even more heat in your home. You can save some money on your electricity bill too!
  2. Place a bowl of ice in front of your fan. While it’s important to remember that fans cool people, not rooms, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel good to have a fan blowing cool air on you. If you’re really desperate to cool down, place a bowl…

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